FWP looking for comments on new fishing regulations

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is asking Montana anglers what they would like to see in state fishing regulations for the next four years and to comment on the department’s proposals.

FWP’s recommendations and an online comment form are available online at the department’s website –http://fwp.mt.gov – and follow the links to Fishing, Fishing Regulations and “Comment on 2016-19 Fishing Regulations.”

FWP also has scheduled two public meetings in May to accept comments and suggestions:

  • Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Columbus Fire Hall, 944 East Pike Ave.
  • Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. FWP’s Region 5 Headquarters, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive in Billings Heights.

Every four years, FWP considers all facets of Montana’s fishing regulations. The rules currently under scrutiny would run from 2016 through 2019.

As part of the process, FWP is asking anglers what parts of the regulations they would like to change. They also will ask anglers to comment on FWP’s proposals, which are designed to simplify the regulations.

All comments are due by May 31. FWP biologists will draft their recommendations in June and the FWP Commission will finalize regulations in July.

Anglers may submit their comments and suggestions at one of the meetings, in writing or online. The online form is at:

http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/publicComments/2015/2016_19fishingRegs.html

Written comments may be mailed to FWP’s headquarters at:
Fisheries, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
-FWP-

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FWP seeking landowners for Block Management

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking landowners in Region 5 who are interested in participating in Block Management. Block Management is a cooperative effort between landowners, public land management agencies, and FWP to help manage public hunting activities and provide equitable hunting opportunities.

In the Block Management program, landowners and FWP enter into voluntary agreements that spell out how hunting will be conducted on the landowner’s property. Items such as permission requirements, times when permission will be granted, vehicle use, and numbers of hunters are a few examples of what is covered in a contract.

Block Management offers various benefits to landowners enrolled in the program. These include compensation to offset impacts associated with allowing public hunting, hunter and wildlife management, and a complimentary, non-transferable sportsman’s license. Additionally, participants do not relinquish any rights by enrolling and are covered by Montana’s recreational liability statute as well as livestock loss reimbursement, both of which are extended to landowners who allow access at no charge.

Yearly budgets are limited, so lands offered for enrollment are prioritized on a region-wide basis. Habitat quality, regional access needs, and hunter opportunity are considered while prioritizing properties.

For more information, or to receive an application package, interested landowners can contact Dale Nixdorf, R5 Block Management Coordinator, at 406-247-2959, or the Region 5 FWP office at 406-247-2940.

-FWP-

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Clean Angling News March 2015

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No Changes Planned for Paddlefish Season

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has no plans to change its paddlefish season as a result of January’s oil spill in the Yellowstone River west of Glendive.

On Jan. 17, 2015, a 12-inch-diameter Bridger Pipeline broke beneath the Yellowstone River six miles upstream from Glendive, dumping some 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the water. Efforts to clean up the spill and account for damage from the oil were thwarted until last week because ice covered the river.

FWP has issued a fish-consumption advisory for any fish caught below the spill site, warning anglers to use caution when deciding whether to eat their catches from the river until the department can determine whether they are safe. The advisory will be in effect at least for two more weeks while FWP tests fish caught since ice-out.

Montana’s 2015 paddlefish season on the Yellowstone River opens May 15. The department has no plans to change the season as a result of the oil spill.

FWP biologists said this week that paddlefish spend much of the winter in Lake Sakakawea on the Missouri River in west central North Dakota. The fish do not stage at the upstream end of the lake and begin their migration toward the Yellowstone River until early May. FWP biologists do not believe that the Yellowstone River’s paddlefish were directly exposed to the spilled oil.

As a result, the department has no plans to postpone or change the 2015 paddlefish season or issue an advisory for consumption of paddlefish fillets or caviar.

 

-FWP-

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Saint Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

St. Patrick’s Day Parade 3/14/15 in Billings. Weather was very nice
but I thought it was going to be a bit nicer.

We had a good turnout.  We took a group member photo for all the members and kids that showed  up to help decorate and ride on the float. Roger, Sharon Henry and  grandkids, Mike Spear, Clayton Sorenson, Darcy Russell, Lee and Leown Keyser, Ryan, Terry Harris and grandkids, Henry and Linda Yeager, Clay  Buckmiller, Johnny, Bridgette Cash and kids, Greg and Becky Heil, and hopefully new member Ridon and her daughter Raelin.
Johnny and Bridgette Cash had friends and family show up and I think  some of them may be joining and maybe have joined. Nic and Ciarra rode on the float with us as well.

Thanks to all that showed up and helped. We all had a really good
time, lots of walkers, and lots of candy, kids fishing day flyers,  bobbers, and folding Frisbees handed out. We almost had enough to make  it through the whole parade.

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Montana Hunting & Fishing News February 2015

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FWP issues fish-consumption advisory below oil spill

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has issued consumption advisory for fish caught in the Yellowstone River in the area of a Jan. 17, 2015, oil spill west of Glendive.

People who have caught fish in the Yellowstone River between the spill site, six miles upstream from Glendive, and the North Dakota state line should be cautious about consuming them.

This week FWP biologists started capturing fish below the oil spill site and sending them to a laboratory for testing. Biologists and game wardens also are asking anglers if they will donate fish from their catch for laboratory testing. Test results should be returned in the next two weeks and FWP will publish the data so fishermen can determine whether their catch is suitable for consumption.

Published research indicates that petroleum compounds can accumulate in fish for 40 or more days after a spill. FWP will continue to sample fish throughout the river to try to detect any accumulation. Petroleum compounds can also be passed on to fish through the food chain when micro-organisms, insects, worms, crustaceans and other aquatic animals absorb petroleum compounds then are eaten by fish.

The advisory was issued as a precaution, advising anglers to tend toward conservative decisions and prudent practice when it comes to the health effects of the oil spill.

In addition to paddlefish and endangered pallid sturgeon, this stretch of the Yellowstone River holds channel catfish, sauger, walleye, northern pike, bigmouth buffalo, black bullhead, black crappie, bluegill, blue sucker, brassy minnow, brook stickleback, burbot, cisco, common carp, creek chub, emerald shiner, fathead minnow, flathead chub, freshwater drum, goldeye, golden shiner, green sunfish, lake chub, largemouth bass, longnose dace, longnose sucker, mountain sucker, northern redbelly dace, plains minnow, plains killifish, pumpkinseed, rainbow smelt, river carpsucker, sand shiner, shorthead redhorse, shortnose gar, shovelnose sturgeon, sicklefin chub, smallmouth bass, smallmouth buffalo, spottail shiner, stonecat, sturgeon chub, western silvery minnow, white bass, white crappie, white sucker, yellow bullhead and yellow perch.

People with questions or who want to report contaminated fish or wildlife may call the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 7 office at 406-234-0900. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has set up a toll-free telephone number — 888-959-8351 – to report oil-covered wildlife.

-FWP-

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2015 Banquet

Date is Saturday February 7, 2015..  Happy hour 300p-530p   Dinner 545p  Elks Lodge, 934 Lewis Ave.. 2 bars, raffle prizes, silent and live auctions.
$25.00 per adult  Children 6-12 $10.00   age 5 and under free
Contact Greg Heil at 672-9601 for tickets
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Club Get Together & Ice Fishing Sunday

We are having a club get together Sunday 1/18/15. We will be going to Castle Rock Lake at Colstrip. We will have some cold cuts for sandwiches, will have a pot of chili,

if you have never ice fished before we will have people to help and some equipment.

If you would like to join us we will be heading out about 700am.

Call Becky at 672-8995 if interested in joining or need directions. We will leave from McDonald’s at Johnson Lane in Lockwood

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Game wardens looking for information on poached elk

image002BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens are offering a reward for information about a bull elk that was killed illegally and left to waste east of Billings over the weekend of Jan. 10-11.

FWP game warden Courtney Tyree said elk was shot illegally along Fly Creek east of Billings.

FWP is offering a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to a conviction of the persons responsible for the illegal kill. Anyone with information about the crimes is encouraged to call Tyree at (406) 860-7814 or FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668).

The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous. It is similar to the well-known Crimestoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in conviction of persons who abuse Montana’s natural, historic or cultural resources.

 

-FWP-

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